America's Parking Spaces Are In The Wrong Cities

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times and The Verge.

American Cities Are Haunted by Too Many Parking SpacesBloomberg Businessweek

Now, parking in Cambridge, Mass. isn't a particularly pleasant task, but it can be done and apparently it's not ruining that city. Unlike in Hartford, Conn., where the city actually manages to lose money on parking spaces. Go figure.

A pair of forthcoming studies by (Norman)Garrick and several of his UConn colleagues examine the economic and sociological impacts of parking trends in six U.S. cities from 1960 to 2000. They conclude that some car-centric cities forfeit more than a thousand dollars per parking space per year in potential municipal revenues by using land for parking rather than more lucrative alternatives.

Report Traces Port Authority's Flaws to a Crumbling Business ModelThe New York Times

Turns out Bridgegate only highlighted the problems facing the Port Authority. It's basically screwed.

But as the furor over the lane closings has grown, engulfing Mr. Christie and several of his top aides, a review of agency operations suggests that its familiar flaws — mismanagement, patronage, rivalries between the two states — are secondary to a decaying business model, done in by a relentless desire to expand beyond the agency's core transportation functions.

In recent decades, according to a new report, the agency has increasingly yielded to governors on fiscally dubious projects, contributing to a need in recent years to seek new revenue from bridge and tunnel toll increases.

Driven: how Zipcar's founders built and lost a car-sharing empireThe Verge

So car sharing makes you lose your friends? In a way, yes.

Today, Zipcar — which is still headquartered in Boston — has offices in more than 26 American cities and 860,000 members across the US, Austria, Canada, Spain, and the UK. And the company's profile only grew when car-rental giant Avis bought Zipcar for $491 million in January 2013. But in fact, both founders left the company more than 10 years ago, as power struggles and disputes prevented both Chase and Danielson from seeing their shared vision through. Now 56, Danielson hasn't spoken to Chase in more than a decade.

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